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Wagner TH, Guendelman S. Healthcare utilization among Hispanics: findings from the 1994 Minority Health Survey. The American journal of managed care. 2000 Mar 1; 6(3):355-64.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the effects of health need, enabling factors, and predisposing factors on entry into any type of care, volume of care, use of emergency services, hospitalization, and receipt of preventive services. STUDY DESIGN: Multiple regression analysis with cross-sectional data. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Participants were the 1001 adults who identified themselves as Hispanic in the Commonwealth Fund Minority Health Survey; a telephone survey of noninstitutionalized persons designed to oversample minorities was conducted. RESULTS: The 3 Hispanic subpopulations had similar sociodemographic profiles and similar patterns of healthcare utilization, except that Hispanics of other national origins were more likely to use preventive care compared with Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans. Overall, 78% of the Hispanics surveyed entered the healthcare system in the past year, making an average of 5.25 visits. After controlling for other factors, immigrants had fewer visits and were less likely to have received preventive care. A regular source of care and insurance coverage influenced entry and volume of care, but was not associated with emergency services or hospitalizations. CONCLUSIONS: Access to care for Hispanics remains a major problem, significantly affected by structural and financial factors, personal experiences with the healthcare system, and predisposing factors. Policy solutions that address the health service needs of the uninsured will largely benefit Hispanics. In addition, as managed care plans compete for contracts and become more multicultural, access to care for Hispanics, including the uninsured, may improve through market forces.